Civil society expertise and experience are rarely used in Kyrgyzstan in developing state policy. At the same time, the dialogue between public policy developers, independent researchers and civil activists is often confrontational rather than constructive. In this situation, state bodies do not benefit from the quality and diverse expert evaluation, and the experience and opinion of the research community when designing various documents and policies, which, in turn, target effective reforms in the public life. Along with that, there is a group of researchers in the society who should be reached out to for an open inclusive dialogue on various issues, the results of research and interaction with government bodies and the civil society in the process of changing the existing policies.
The fundamental principle of the Research Grants Program is the understanding that certain positions on various policy issues should be justified by specific data and focused on the future. The aim of the Programme is to support and develop the capacity of researchers, to encourage the participation of think tanks in public policy development, while maintaining proactive co-operation between them, civil society organizations and decision-makers to improve the quality of research and dialogue on research results. It is expected that eventually a sufficient number of independent researchers with analytical skills will emerge who are able to initiate and conduct a discourse on public policy in the country.
The Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan invites medium and high-level researchers to participate in the Research Grants Program. The thematic areas of the Programme are human rights, civic participation, the urbanization process, democratic institutions, good governance and public health. At the same time, candidates can at their discretion choose a topic that is relevant to the challenges faced by an open society. The selection of Programme participants will be based on candidates’ previous publications, the relevance and appropriateness of the proposed subject of research, the validity and novelty of the ideas proposed, as well as the methodology and strategies for advancing research results. Grants will be provided for up to six months.
Coordinator of Research Grants program